Home > Her Best Worst Mistake (Elizabeth and Violet #2)(11)

Her Best Worst Mistake (Elizabeth and Violet #2)(11)
Sarah Mayberry

Her stomach flipped with nervousness. Elizabeth was not going to be happy that Violet had blabbed her whereabouts to her ex-fiancé. And she dreaded to think what Martin would do now - call Elizabeth and demand she come home and take up her place as the mother of his future children?

Another thought hit her.

Surely he wouldn’t race to the other side of the world for Elizabeth?

Inexplicable tears filled her eyes as she thought about him doing just that. The big idiot.

He really loved Elizabeth. Truly, deeply, maybe even a bit madly.

And the really sad thing was that she knew her friend didn’t feel anything close to the same for him.

Blinking away her foolish tears, she let herself into her apartment. No doubt Martin St Clair would choose to eat glass rather than know she felt sorry for him, but he couldn’t stop her from doing so from afar. He might be old before his time and too stitched up for his own good, but he was a decent man at heart - sincere, generous, loving, considerate. He didn’t deserve to be hurt like this.

Her lips twisted into a cynical little smile.

Who of us gets what we deserve in life?

Precious few, as she knew from her own experience. Heavy of heart and mind, she threw her keys on the hall table and tried to work out how and when to tell Elizabeth that she should be on the look-out for an unexpected visitor.

Chapter Three

Martin drove straight home, his pride and everything else burning after his encounter with Violet. The pity in her eyes. The sympathy...

She was the last person he wanted feeling sorry for him. The very last.

And yet it was all he could do to stop himself from turning the car around to plead with her to tell him what Elizabeth had said to her over the last five days.

That she’d confided in Violet he had no doubt, just as he knew that right now Violet had a far better notion of where he stood with his fiancee - ex-fiancee - than he did. The knowledge sat like a rock in his belly, as unpalatable as Violet’s pity.

It wouldn’t be the first time Elizabeth had confided deeply personal matters to do with their relationship to her friend. It galled him just as much now as it had then. He had committed to sharing his life with Elizabeth. To having children and growing old with her. He hated the thought that there were things she didn’t feel she could discuss with him.

It’s not as though you tell her everything. What’s good for the goose...

He pushed the errant thought away. This wasn’t about him. This was about Elizabeth. About what she wanted - which, apparently, Violet was privy to and he was not.

All his life he’d possessed the ability to compartmentalize his feelings and thoughts, a survival skill that had served him well in the Government-owned housing estate where he’d grown up. As he pulled into the parking spot behind his apartment, he shook off his doubts and anger and injured pride. His immediate goal was to find Elizabeth. Everything else could wait.

Once he was inside and in front of his computer, it took him five minutes to book the next flight to Melbourne, Australia. He made a quick call to Elizabeth’s grandfather, Edward Whittaker, to let him know that he was going after Elizabeth, listening with increasing impatience to the other man’s advice that he be patient but uncompromising in his dealings with her. Elizabeth’s grandfather loved her dearly but there was no getting away from the fact that his attitude toward her was over-protective and more than a little Victorian.

It was a stance that had always made Martin uncomfortable, but he’d never felt able to comment on it to either Edward or Elizabeth herself. Against the odds, Edward had taken him on as a fresh-out-of-law-school baby solicitor and, when he’d noticed Martin flailing in his new environment, offered him the guidance and advice he’d needed to navigate the internecine politics and hierarchies of a long established law firm. Everything he was today he owed to Edward Whittaker.

Everything.

“I appreciate the advice,” he said when the older man finally stopped to draw breath, “but I’m not sure laying down the law is going to get me anywhere with Elizabeth right now.”

“She’s upset. We all understand that. But once she calms down she’ll understand that everyone was only doing what was best for her.”

Martin winced. Hadn’t he just said something similar to Violet barely twenty minutes ago? Hearing his own words out of someone else’s mouth made him acutely aware of how pompous and patronizing he must have sounded.

He shifted uneasily as he remembered other occasions when he’d said something similar to Elizabeth. For five days he’d lived on hope and the certainty that whatever was wrong between them could be fixed - they were both rational people, after all, and they had six good years between them - but for the first time a splinter of doubt crept into his mind.

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